Anti-Camping By-Law Backgrounder

Toronto may be headed for a costly constitutional legal challenge of its proposed Streets By-law because of an amendment that seeks to criminalize a biological activity associated with people who are homeless. The draft Streets By-law was supposed to be a simple harmonization of similar by-laws that were in force in the former municipalities that were amalgamated to create the City of Toronto. But a last-minute amendment to the draft by-law, introduced by Councillor Shiner after — and in spite of — public consultation and against the recommendation of city staff, seeks to make it illegal to “camp,” “dwell,” and “lodge” on city streets and sidewalks. “Anti-camping” provisions have been used by a number of municipalities in Canada and the United States to target people who are homeless.

Camping Ban Streets By-law Backgrounder

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